The idea that some households need more than others is a familiar one. Larger families have to buy more goods and services, and require a larger income than a small family to maintain the same standard of living. It is often said that older people, or people living in certain parts of the country, have higher needs than others.
In Relative Needs, Richard Berthoud and Reuben Ford have attempted a new method of working out how much different types of household need to maintain a given standard of living. This research challenges the assumptions built into to previous approaches to this question. And it has important implications for the reform of taxation and of social security benefits.
PSI research paperISBN: 0853747016